Ducks ready to assist flood evacuations in Madison if called upon

August 27, 2018

If the need arises, a tourist vehicle may be an emergency rescue vehicle.

The Dane County Emergency Operations Center contacted Lake Delton Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief Darren Jorgenson about the availability of the ducks for flooding evacuation. The ducks previously were used for flooding evacuation assistance in Baraboo and Lake Delton during the massive flooding in 2008.

“They contacted me in case they need the Ducks for evacuations caused by high water flooding issues,” Jorgenson said. “They wanted to see if they’re available, what type of resources are needed, the capabilities (of the Ducks), and how long they can operate.”

The Original Wisconsin Ducks and the Dells Army Ducks have both confirmed their availability to assist in rescue operations. If called upon, the ducks will travel to the area where emergency evacuations are needed with a police escort, and then assist with evacuations using the unique amphibious capabilities of the vehicles.

“I was on the Ducks in 2008 when we used them for the flood. They worked very, very well in Baraboo and Lake Delton,” Jorgenson said. “Being amphibious, (the Ducks) can get into areas other vehicles can’t and are very multi-functional in a flooding situation.”

Despite a fatal Ducks accident in inclement weather that claimed the lives of 17 people July 19 on Table Rock Lake in Missouri, Jorgenson is confident in the safety of the ducks and the abilities of the operating staff.

“If there is bad weather… we know that every vehicle has limitations, we evaluate the conditions before any rescue operation, including (using the) Ducks,” Jorgenson said. “The staff are very experienced and very well trained, and safety is always the priority.”

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